Tennesee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) Grant

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Lori Pace

If you’re a Tennessee resident planning to attend a college or university in the state, you may be eligible for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) Grant. This grant, available through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), provides financial assistance to undergraduate students demonstrating financial need and academic promise.

The TSAA Grant is a valuable source of funding for Tennessee students seeking to pursue higher education. With rising tuition costs and increasing student debt, it’s more important than ever to explore all possible avenues for funding your education.

This article will provide an overview of the TSAA Grant, including eligibility requirements, application process, and disbursement schedule, as well as tips for maximizing your benefits. 

Eligibility Requirements for TSAA Grant

If you’re looking to apply for the TSAA grant, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be an undergraduate student, a resident of Tennessee, and attending an eligible institution. You must also demonstrate financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additionally, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and not have received a baccalaureate degree.

The TSAA is a state-funded grant program that can be used for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. The award amount varies based on the type of institution attended and can be renewable for up to four years for a 4-year program. To remain eligible, you must maintain eligibility throughout the duration of the program and report any changes in your financial status to TSAC.

Remember, the TSAA is subject to the availability of funds, and priority consideration is given to students who submit a FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 each year. 

How to Apply for TSAA Grant

To apply for this non-repayable financial aid, you’ll want to submit your FAFSA as early as possible, ideally right after October 1 each academic year, and remember that awards are given out on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been depleted.

It is important to note that eligible institutions for the TSAA grant can include public and eligible nonpublic postsecondary institutions, and you must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of study. Additionally, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and not owe any refunds on unused grants or be in default on any loans.

Once you’ve completed your FAFSA, you should reach out to your school’s financial aid office to ensure that they have all the necessary information to process your TSAA application. The grant is state-funded and can help cover tuition, fees, and other educational expenses but does not cover expenses such as room and board. The award amount can vary based on the type of institution attended and can change from year to year.

Remember, the TSAA is only available for financially needy undergraduate students who are residents of Tennessee and have not yet received a baccalaureate degree and is subject to termination criteria based on the length of the program and the number of terms completed. 

TSAA Grant Amounts and Disbursement Schedule

Once accepted into an eligible institution, you can receive financial aid through the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) grant program. The grant amounts vary depending on your need and the cost of attendance at your chosen institution.

Here are some key points to keep in mind about TSAA grant amounts and disbursements:

– The maximum award amount for financially needy undergraduate students is $4,000 per academic year.
– The neediest applicants may receive priority consideration for TSAA grants.
– Disbursements are made according to a set schedule, typically twice per academic year, based on full-time enrollment in an eligible institution and the program of study you are pursuing.

It’s important to note that TSAA grants are a state-funded grant program that can only be used for attendance at an eligible nonpublic postsecondary institution in Tennessee. If you’re pursuing a four-year program that leads to a baccalaureate degree and have financial need, the TSAA grant program may be a valuable resource to help you finance your education. 

Other Financial Aid Options for Tennessee Students

There are various financial aid options available to you as a student in Tennessee, including scholarships, federal loans, work-study programs, and institutional grants.

Scholarships are typically merit-based and don’t have to be repaid, while federal loans must be repaid with interest.

Work-study programs provide part-time employment to help cover educational expenses, and institutional grants are provided by your college or university.

In addition to the TSAA grant, Tennessee also offers a state-funded grant program for financially needy undergraduate students attending eligible non-public postsecondary institutions. The neediest applicants typically receive the most funding.

To remain eligible for financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and stay enrolled full-time in an eligible program of study at an eligible institution.

Be sure to explore all your options and apply for as many sources of aid as possible to help cover the cost of attendance for your baccalaureate degree. 

Tips for Maximizing Your TSAA Grant Benefits

Maximizing your TSAA benefits can make all the difference in achieving your dreams of graduating college without the burden of excessive student debt. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your state-funded grant program:

1) Be aware of eligibility requirements for the TSAA grant, including being a dependent student, enrolled full-time in an eligible nonpublic postsecondary institution, and maintaining academic progress in your program of study.

2) Apply early and complete the FAFSA to demonstrate financial need, as the neediest applicants receive priority consideration for the TSAA.

3) Use the TSAA funds wisely to cover educational expenses such as tuition, fees, textbooks, and supplies.

4) Stay informed about TSAA policies and requirements to ensure you remain eligible and receive the full grant amount each year.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your TSAA grant and work towards earning your baccalaureate degree with less financial stress. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to receive the TSAA Grant after submitting an application?

You can expect to receive the TSAA grant within 4-6 weeks after submitting your application. The processing time may vary depending on the number of applications received and the volume of work at the processing center.

Can the TSAA Grant be used to cover expenses other than tuition and fees?

Yes, the TSAA grant can cover expenses beyond tuition and fees, such as room and board, books, and supplies. However, the grant amount may vary based on financial need and availability of funds.

Are there any restrictions on the type of schools that can be attended with the TSAA Grant?

You can use the TSAA grant at any eligible institution in Tennessee, including public, private, and career schools. However, the school must be accredited and participate in federal financial aid programs.

Can the TSAA Grant be combined with other forms of financial aid?

Yes, the TSAA grant can be combined with other forms of financial aid. You should check with your school’s financial aid office for details on maximizing your aid package.

What happens if a student’s GPA falls below the minimum requirement after receiving the TSAA Grant?

If your GPA falls below the minimum requirement after receiving a grant, your eligibility for future funding may be affected. Check with your school’s financial aid office for specific guidelines and options. 


By understanding these important details, you can make informed decisions about your financial aid options and maximize your TSAA benefits.

Remember, the TSAA grant is just one option for Tennessee students seeking financial assistance for their education. There are also federal and state grants, scholarships, and loans available. It’s essential to explore all of your options and apply for as many as you qualify for.

Additionally, you can seek employment opportunities, internships, and work-study programs to help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses.

By taking advantage of all the resources available to you, including the TSAA grant, you can pursue your education with confidence and focus on achieving your goals.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!